Not settling for anything less knowing that the bigger picture is still in front of them, San Pedro High girls volleyball wasted no time, breaths, or in this case, sets on Saturday as they won their second San Pedro Invitational Tournament championship in three years.
Six matches, ten sets, 150 points, all coming up on the winning side for the streaking Pirates.
It was a perfect week for San Pedro (18-2 overall) as they won both their Marine League openers against Narbonne and Rancho Dominguez Prep, and then in the SPI they swept through North Hollywood, neighbor Port Of Los Angeles and Rivera of Los Angeles in pool play, then dispatching St. Bernard of Playa Del Rey in the Gold Division quarterfinals. Finally in back-to-back one-set playoffs, defeated St. Monica of Santa Monica in the semifinals, then posted an impressive win in the Gold Division championship match over El Camino Real of Woodland Hills.
Against St. Monica, the Pirates were all business, stretching out to leads of 13-7 and 16-7 which forced the Mariners to use both of their only timeouts for the one-set playoff before eventually rolling to a 25-12 victory, as junior middle blocker Samantha Rapp emphatically closed the match with a slam dunk kill off an overpassed set attempt.
The finals against El Camino Real saw the resourcefulness of the Pirates come to life.
Spotting a 5-1 deficit to begin the Gold Division final, San Pedro then went on a run that gave them ions of momentum sparked by the serving of senior middle blocker Lauren Sutrin.
A roll shot by senior outsider hitter Sara Peterson dropped down for a kill. giving the Pirates a well-needed sideout and cutting the Conquistadors' lead to 5-2. Then Sutrin went to work and dissected the defense for an ace, while her other serves led to kills by senior middle blocker Sosha Williams, sophomore setter Gabriella Edwards, two straight kills from Peterson and an attack error for an 8-5 San Pedro lead.
San Pedro stretched their lead to 13-8 before El Camino Real called their first timeout as Peterson, Williams and Sutrin all continued to impose their will.
It wouldn't stop there as the Pirates continued to attack the Conquistadors in waves after their lead was cut to 16-13.
Sutrin's block impeded any momentum El Camino Real tried to build up, putting her in serving position again and she proceeded to serve in the final eight points of the match as the Pirates aimed to pull away to the finish line against a highly respected Conquistador program who in 2015 captured the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division 1 title.
There was a kill by senior opposite hitter Raelyn Sanchez, two more thunderous kills from Peterson, even a stuff block from Peterson, followed by another block from Williams to set up match point. Fittingly it would be Sutrin delivering the final point and the tournament title for San Pedro with an authoritative service ace which landed perfectly in the left side of the defense that had a gaping hole.
San Pedro has played every match in 2018 with a purpose to prove that they belong among the City Section's elite after last year's Open Division playoff appearance.
At the start of the season San Pedro wasn't even in the CIF-LACS Division 1 Preseason Top 10 poll, and since the season begun, they now own victories over four schools that were either in the poll at the start of the year or in the poll at the first update on September 2 in El Camino Real, Cleveland, Venice and Narbonne.
Next up for the Pirates is a Marine League game at Gardena on Monday, followed by their long-awaiting first crack at eight-time defending league champion Carson on Thursday at San Pedro.